Sheffield Wednesday: No excuses from Owls boss over the team’s precarious position

Jos Luhukay
Jos Luhukay
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It is early days into Jos Luhukay’s tenure, but he has so far been unable to reverse the Owls’ fortunes.

His record reads one Championship victory in nine attempts, with Wednesday collecting a meagre seven points out of a possible 27 on offer.

Frederico Venancio is an injury concern for Wednesday

Frederico Venancio is an injury concern for Wednesday

After three straight defeats, the Owls remain in a precarious position and continue to look nervously over their shoulders. They are only seven points above the drop zone and Luhukay recognises the team have to show more consistency in their performances if they are to climb away from trouble.

He said: “In a lot of games, we have had good play and progression, but also games where you think why have we not made the next step. We must make a step back.

“At the moment, we don’t have a stable situation. We play one good game, for example, against Aston Villa and a week later, against Bristol, we see a different team in the game. That is not what I hoped. I hoped we would have more stability.

“Maybe also more confidence and trust in ourselves. When things happen in a game, sometimes players have more mental problems in themselves than with the opponents.”

In Luhukay’s defence, he could hardly have been handed a tougher introduction to English football. Wednesday, languishing in 17th spot, have faced six of the division’s top eight clubs in his two months at the helm.

“We have had very good teams who have played us at home and they are high in the league,” stressed Luhukay. “Against Cardiff, Derby, Aston Villa and Swansea, you have seen us play very well and good.

“But it is also important that when you are not playing against the top teams, you also come to 100 per cent and did things in those games. That is the challenge for us.”

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Tonight’s tussle with mid-table Ipswich Town represents an opportunity for the Owls to atone for Saturday’s 4-0 hammering at Bristol City.

“Ipswich is an important game as three days ago, we were not in the game and now we must be in the game from the beginning and fight for everything,” said Luhukay, who is sweating over the fitness of Daniel Pudil, Frederico Venancio and Lucas Joao.

“This is a new game and chance. We lost on Saturday with no chances. I want to see another ‘face’.”

The hectic fixture schedule and the club’s well-documented injury crisis has not made Luhukay’s job any easier.

He said: “We don’t have a lot of time in training between games. In eight weeks here, we play 14 games and every fourth day, you have a game in the last two months, with the FA Cup.

“Normally, it is from Saturday to Saturday and four or five training sessions in the week, sometimes six. And now we only have two or one training sessions for a game. That is the big difference from what I have had in the past. Now it is games, games, games and a big difference.”

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He is acutely aware the Owls are not in a “comfortable position” and says it is vital the team quickly get back on track, starting at Hillsborough this evening.

Luhukay, who confirmed Wednesday remain in talks with midfielder Sean Clare regarding a new contract, said: “Ipswich are a difficult team. We have looked at videos and have discussed about them.

“They are a good team with a good structure and two very good strikers who have scored 10 goals (each). We must keep an eye on them.

“All the teams in the Championship have strong set-ups with big players. Also then, you must focus on 90 minutes and I am sure they will give us a lot of work.

“We must go very deep to win.”

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